Twenty years past the band Squeeze’s commercial prime, the group’s lead singer and co-principal songwriter sounds like an old friend on this song from his overlooked solo CD from 2001, “The Incomplete Glenn Tilbrook.” He’s not breaking new ground here but he doesn’t have to—his agreeable voice and effortless sense of melody work in his favor, as they did all those years with Squeeze.
“There Is No Message” – Pete Townshend
Hm, it looks like old rockers’ week here at Fingertips. It turns out that the Who’s guitarist has quite a store of streams up on his site, including 20 songs that he apparently contemplated releasing as a CD called “Twenty” but never did. A lot have a demo-like feel to them, but this one is a viable throwback to “Let My Love Open the Door” era Townshend—catchy, sharp, and rendered better than it should be by his evocative, yearning vocals. (Then again, I’m someone who always thought the best Who songs were the ones he sang; I could never stomach Daltrey’s bombast.)
Okay, to avoid the look and feel of a classic rock station, here’s something rather different. I’m a complete sucker for this sort of thing: it’s airy, it’s got ringing guitars, an irresistible power-pop chorus, a woman singing in French, and it’s 3 minutes and 33 seconds: classic single time. What’s not to love? Apparently this band gained a bit of an audience when it played the Lilith Fair back in 1997, but I never heard of them until I stumbled upon them online. This song is from their first, eponymous (there! I can be a music writer—I’ve used the word “eponymous”) CD, released in 1996.